By Tabora Bojang
Jan Creemers, a Belgian Mayor from the Maaseik City Council who is on a visit to The Gambia recently, made a courtesy call on the new interim management committee of the Kanifing Municipal Council chaired by Bakary K Jammeh.
Mayor Creemers accompanied by his compatriot Raf Maaseik, a councillor in Maaseik and other officials were also taken on a conducted tour by the new Management committee notably the Bakoteh dumpsite and the Serekunda market.
While the local government elections slated for 12th of May and April for councillor and mayoral spots across the country, the new interim committee is mandated to steer the affairs of the council as well as smoothly prepare grounds for the incoming councilors and Mayor for the KMC.
The officials are of the view that Belgian Mayor’s visit who had previously tried to work with the KMC but unsuccessful is awaited to map out way of coating cordial partnerships between the two municipal councils.
The Kanifing municipality with the most populous municipality with over 350 thousand residents has been grappling with problems mostly in the areas of environment such as the collection and management of rubbish ensuing serious environmental challenges and other issues.
Mayor Creemers, said their discussions centered on “three important areas” which are intended to create partnerships between the Maaseik city council and the KMC to explore in the areas of environment, health care and education describing them as “three very important issues” to reconnoiter for the young people of the Gambia”
The partnerships according to him will also avail opportunities for institutional and capacity building support initiatives for KMC staff and management and promote good working environment to enhance the council’s social responses.
Maaseik Mayor maintained that environment is a global problem, and hence forth alike municipalities and the national government of the Gambia must be ready to work on local projects about environment and also have a good idea of environment which he said is a “very strong point since it gives the principal things to the people to have a good life and a good working environment”.
The chairman of the KM steering committee Bakary K Jammeh commended the visiting mayor and team for the initiative. “I want to assure you that the Gambia has changed and changed for the better with a different mindset and we are very interested working with all partners around the world for mutual benefits in all aspects ranging from cultural exchanges, education health and environment,” he said.
He emphasized the important role local governments play in the democratization process of the country through the grass root level while assuring the Belgian mayor of the council readiness to work with that Maaseik council for a mutual benefit that will impact the lives of the people especially the young.